Refugees and the Myth of Human Rights: Life Outside the Pale by Emma Larking

By Emma Larking

So much Western liberal democracies are events to the United countries Refugees conference and all are devoted to the popularity of uncomplicated human rights, yet in addition they spend billions fortifying their borders, detaining unauthorised immigrants, and policing migration. in the meantime, public debate over the West's duties to unauthorised immigrants is passionate, vitriolic, and divisive.Refugees and the parable of Human Rights combines philosophical, old, and felony research to elucidate the main strategies at stake within the debate, and to illustrate the hazard posed by way of modern border regimes to rights security and the rule of thumb of legislations inside of liberal democracies. utilizing the political philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant the publication highlights the strain in liberalism among partiality in the direction of one's compatriots and the universalism of human rights and brings this stress to existence via an exam of Hannah Arendt's account of the increase and decline of the fashionable geographical region. It offers a unique studying of Arendt's critique of human rights and her notion of the proper to have rights. The ebook argues that the suitable to have rights has to be secured globally in constrained shape, yet that popularity of its importance should still spur expansive alterations to frame coverage inside of and among liberal states.

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Political Nationhood and Constitutional States While Arendt argues in Origins that the formation of Western Europe’s nations depended on cultural homogeneity and strong links to a fixed territory, her later work makes clear that these conditions are neither necessary nor sufficient for the creation of political nations or nations based on rights and consent. Her later work also demonstrates that a body politic founded on equality may be forged by ‘a people’ that does not share national traditions.

From Habermas’ more optimistic perspective, the commitment to rights within the modern nation-state operates in tandem with the exercise of popular sovereignty, encouraging democratic inclusivity and militating Also contentious is Arendt’s claim that an appreciation of national homogeneity grew out of the developing political consciousness of the lower classes. Smith (2004, 19) recognises the presence of a range of ethnic groups within Western European nations, but like Arendt he characterises these nations as traditionally based on one dominant and relatively homogeneous ethnie that shared ‘a myth of common origins and ancestry’.

The result was widespread disloyalty 15 While Arendt does not mention the Ottoman empire, its break up also contributed to the problem. Rights and the Nation-state 41 among the minorities to the governments inflicted upon them and oppressive treatment of the minorities by those governments (1968, 272). Although responsible for ensuring observance of the Minority Treaties, the League of Nations subsequently demonstrated its sympathy for the predicament of the new governments, and Arendt (1968, 272–3, 275) argues its representatives took for granted that the Treaties were really a staging post on the road to the ‘assimilation or liquidation’ of the minorities.

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